A Fab Year!

A wintery hack

A wintery hack

The year is coming to a wintery end... snow has arrived, not too much for us so far, thank goodness. As part of the horses' fitness and wellbeing I usually hack out twice a week and I'm lucky to have the farm for this. On the schooling front, my new surface, cushion track from Equestrian Surfaces, has been brilliant. Even when it started snowing we were still able to ride as the wax element stops the snow balling in the horses' feet. We haven't had one day that freezing weather has stopped play which is fantastic. I'm very grateful they came and did some maintenance on it recently and it rode like new. 

Sophie on Reece and Rhianydd on Noki

Sophie on Reece and Rhianydd on Noki

We have had a fab year with the horses, with William coming on board and being a lovely addition to the yard. With his gentle elephant like nature he is so lovely to have around. Reece and Jorge have had a fantastic season and both have stepped up to new challenges.

As always I'm very grateful to my ever loyal sponsors who continue to help me and my boys, as well as Jackie and Neil Walker, Charlotte Hogg and Valerie Woolford for being wonderful owners. And of course the rest of my team who keep the horses fit and well, and attempt to with myself as well! My new website is obviously a welcome addition too, I hope you like it - I love it! Thank you Jayne.

I wish you all a fabulous Christmas spent with loved ones (especially the four-legged variety!) and all the best for 2018. A new year and new challenges for all!

Soph x

(Thank you to Julie Priestley for the lovely winter photo shoot as part of Horse & Country's 'Rudall Rides' - can't believe it's already a year ago!) 

Jenny Rudall, Sophie and Rhi Lee-Jones

Jenny Rudall, Sophie and Rhi Lee-Jones

Tia takes charge as usual!

Tia takes charge as usual!

Sophie receives Equestrian of the Year Award!

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The Horse of the Year Show 2017 was the stuff of dreams for Sophie as she received the Equestrian of the Year Award as well as riding Charlotte Hogg's C Fatal Attraction in the Future Elite Dressage Inter I freestyle. Sophie and Jorge achieved 3rd place behind Charlotte Dujardin and Maria Eliberg with a personal best score of 76.34%.

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Very much the icing on the cake of a terrific season both in para and able-bodied dressage. Fantastic Sophie - we are so proud of you! 

A Very Busy Nationals...

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Team Wells had a busy and exciting few days at the British Dressage LeMieux National Championships at Stoneleigh last weekend. With three horses contesting eight classes it was all hands on deck and the result was pleasing performances including some top 10 finishes. In addition Sophie had students competing and they also had a successful championships.

Everyone enjoyed a great learning experience either sharing the warm-up with or watching reigning Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin, who swept the board in the 10 championships she entered! Every year the standard of horses and riding goes up and the future of British dressage looks secure. Well done everybody! 

My gorgeous boy Jorge!

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Sophie reflects on another successful campaign at a major championship.

"Well what can I say, the Longines FEI European Championships Gothenburg 2017 certainly delivered! I couldn't be prouder of Jorge winning his first individual gold medal, a close individual silver and being the second highest score to retain the team gold medal with a very new team. It has certainly been a journey with him since Charlotte Hogg bought him for me to bring on four and a half years ago. I'm so grateful to Charlotte for the opportunity of training this amazingly talented horse, and for the next superstar that we are yet to find!

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As always we couldn't have done any of it without the team behind us. Ange for training me for what will be year 13, and our third horse to have medalled at individual gold; Liz from Hooves 'n' Homes for grooming out here and taking such good care of gorgeous Jorge, and Beth and Lewis for being with me all year and taking care of the yard at home. 

Thank you to my family and friends for their support and understanding of me never being around. Equestrian Team GBR funded by UK Sport and The National Lottery, that enables us to have the best people around us to deliver. The support staff have as always been fab. Thank you Rod, Karen, Ian, Lucy , Sarah, and of course Mark Perry for getting the horses there and home safely. The other riders on our team who have made it a truly enjoyable trip, I'm proud to have stood with you on that podium, in particular Erin Orford who I've been friends with for 12 years or more, you have worked so hard for so long to make your team debut and to get two medals made me so happy for you!

My team at home who all work tirelessly keeping everyone fit and happy and playing their own part.

My sponsors who enable me to provide the best for my boys, which is my number one priority always.

And last but not least, my gorgeous boy, Jorge. I love riding you every day and sometimes the feeling you give me is unreal! I hope I can do you justice.The trust you put in me when you are scared is building all the time. 

Thank you also to everyone for their kind words of support, luck and encouragement! I'm sorry I can't reply to each of you individually but I honestly really appreciate it."

Europeans here we come!

Sophe and C Fatal Attraction (Jorge) have been selected for Team GBR at the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden from 21 August 2017. The Paradressage championships are being held alongside the European Showjumping and Dressage Championships which will bring great exposure for the para riders.

Jorge at Hartpury

However there has been disappointment along the way as Sophie's student Natasha Adkinson on Sweet Caledonia was also selected but had to withdraw as 'Cally' suffered a slight injury. The team is Erin Orford (Dior), Suzanna Hext (Abira), Julie Payne (Athene Lindebjerg) and Sophie Wells (C Fatal Attraction).

All except Sophie are debutants at this level but everyone is thrilled to be selected and determined to keep Team GBR's unbeaten championship record going!

Find out what Sophie has to say about the championships to ParalympicsGB news.

Time is the greatest gift...

Coaching Izzy Palmer on Noki

Coaching Izzy Palmer on Noki

Sophie talks about her coaching philosophy: "I have been refreshing myself on one of my favourite books "Legacy" for a talk later in the year. Emphasising integrity and humility and philosophy. A coaching philosophy is an essential ingredient of leadership. Strengthening leadership credibility starts with a coaching philosophy that makes clear the fundamental reason for coaching and the coach's core values.

Coaching is all about helping athletes achieve their dreams. It should be done positively and smartly and with passion. The positive coach and role model, following a well defined coaching philosophy, will be a key ingredient in the success of his or her athletes.

Performance = capability + behaviour

Through my UKCC 3, we looked into our individual coaching philosophy and started to develop it further. This then developed further when I worked with Jennie Killilea on my personal core values, that of an athlete/rider, and a coach. Your philosophy is something that I have found, develops over time and through experience and experiences. Sometimes you can be pulled slightly off track, and away from your principles. Individuals and situations may cause you to do this, but you should remain secure in your values, and if they value you, your input and your values, they will come to you. Those who don't value you, your experience, and advice, don't deserve your time. Time, that is after all, the greatest gift, as that gift can never be taken back."